News from Slightly Foxed: A Fellowship of Readers

A Fellowship of Readers

Spring will soon be upon us and it will be precisely thirteen years since the first issue of Slightly Foxed appeared. Then of course we had no idea of what SF would become – more of a friendly worldwide fellowship of readers than simply a magazine. Many of you have been with us from that first issue, and our subscription renewal rate is unusually and cheeringly high. As we frequently tell you, it’s your loyalty and enthusiasm that keep us going, and this year we’ve decided to express our appreciation to you in a more concrete way.

Enclosed with the forthcoming spring issue, subscribers will find their new Slightly Foxed membership card, along with details of the benefits that go with it. As well as 4 printed issues each year, a subscription includes access to the full digital archive of back issues, preferential prices for books and goods, and offers from a number of organizations we feel are likely to appeal to readers of SF, such as the London Library and the Royal Society of Literature. It’s a varied but carefully chosen list, and though we’ll be adding to it as time goes on, we promise we’ll keep it that way.

The new issue is usually sent to subscribers by our printers Smith Settle each quarter, but this time we’re dispatching it ourselves from the kitchen table here at No. 53 so that we can enclose each reader’s personalized card. It’s been quite a task but absolutely worthwhile, we think, and we hope you’re going to agree! We’ll start sending the issue out early next week, to overseas readers first and then to the UK, so they should start dropping through letterboxes from 26 February, just before hitting bookshop shelves on 1 March.

Those UK and overseas readers who are on an automatic order for the limited editions each quarter should receive this book by 1 March (UK) and 10 March (overseas). If you would like to arrange an automatic order for the Slightly Foxed Editions please get in touch with Hattie Summers: 020 7033 0258;

Well, that seems like quite enough housekeeping for the time being. We’d best get back to our packing stations. We’ll be in touch again soon. Meantime, please scroll down the page for the forthcoming crop of titles.

For the full range of subscriptions, back issues, books, and everything else Slightly Foxed, please visit our online emporium:
SFE no. 37
Hilary Mantel
Giving up the Ghost

Hilary Mantel has said that this powerful and haunting book came about by accident. She never intended to write a memoir, but the sale of a much-loved cottage in Norfolk prompted her to write about the death of her stepfather, and from there ‘the whole story of my life began to unravel’. It is a story of ‘wraiths and phantoms’, a story not easy to forget.
Slightly Foxed Issue 53
Published 1 March
Slightly Foxed Issue 53
Adam Sisman accompanies George Smiley to The Circus • Alexandra Harris is moved by William Cowper’s letters • Jim McCue takes T. S. Eliot at his word • Maggie Fergusson lays ghosts with Hilary Mantel • Anthony Gardner examines the business of loving • Isabel Lloyd follows the way of the actor • Robin Blake maps out his reading • Pamela Beasant sees Orkney through fresh eyes • Charles Elliott mourns the lost world of the Xhosa • Katie Grant enjoys a Ruritanian adventure • David Beanland joins Arthur Ransome on the river bank • and much, much more . . 
The Tea Towel

Last 7 tea towels!

From £5
RRP £9.50
Map taken from The Folio Society edition of A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Map from The Folio Society edition of A Time of Gifts
When I first read A Time of Gifts I felt it in my feet. It spoke to my soles. It rang with what in German is called Sehnsucht: a yearning or wistful longing for the unknown and the mysterious. It made me want to stand up and march out – to walk into an adventure. Robert Macfarlane, The Gifts of Reading

This May, fellow bibliophile Katy is embarking on a 600-mile journey across Europe, in memory of her best friend Harriet Clarke and to raise awareness for Never Too Young, Bowel Cancer UK’s campaign for the under-50s. Her route will follow the first leg of Paddy Leigh Fermor’s 1933 journey, from the Hook of Holland to Budapest, recounted in A Time of Gifts.

We first heard about Katy’s journey through an old school friend of Jennie’s and felt it was a very Slightly Foxed thing to do, and that it would be something that our readers would appreciate and might like to help with. During Katy’s three-week trip we’ll be mapping her route and sharing news of her progress on our website and through our Instagram feed. Of which, more in due course.

Meantime, can you help Katy on her way? This isn’t a plea for donations. Instead, in the sociable spirit of both Paddy Leigh Fermor and Harriet, Katy wants to meet as many people as she can along the way. She’d love to beg bed and board from anyone willing to put her up for a night or so. You’ll find all the stops of her route on her website here:

Katy is still looking for bed and board at the following stops: 

Thursday 4 May
Tiel, The Netherlands

Friday 5 May
Cologne, Germany

Thursday 11 May
Frankfurt, Germany

Sunday 14 May
Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Austria

Tuesday 16 May
Nové Zámky, Slovakia

Wednesday 17 May
Esztergom, Hungary

If any of our readers live in these locations (or knows anyone else who does) and would like to host a fellow bookworm for a night, please get in touch with Katy through her website here

Our readers write . . . 

Your letters, emails, cards and phone calls bring us great cheer throughout the year. Here is just a small selection of recent favourites. 

‘I just wanted to say how much I enjoy Slightly Foxed. It always has at least one article about books I love, but nobody else has ever heard of . . . I haunt second-hand bookshops, and pick up all sorts. Years ago I saw David Grayson’s The Country Man’s Year and loved the illustrations (one of my passions) and then read the books and started collecting him. If I had a computer I would tell Richard Platt he is not alone – and neither am I!’ D. Mack, Dover

‘The arrival of Slightly Foxed is the arrival of an old friend - in new clothes! Thank you all for another year of delightful reading.’ P. Penneycard, Cornwall

‘I was delighted to read of your award from the Stationers’ Company, a happy way to greet a New Year and well deserved.’ M. Marriner, London

NB We have received two letters from Mr Antony Wood requesting us to announce the important fact that we misspelled his name in the copyright accreditation for his article on The Diary of a Nobody in last month’s newsletter. While we apologise for our sloppy copywriting, we can’t help but enjoy the pleasingly Pooterish nature of our error. 
Ronald Welch, Sun of York
SFC no. 13
Ronald Welch
Sun of York

Many of you have been collecting our handsome reissues of Ronald Welch’s Carey novels in the Slightly Foxed Cubs series. All twelve are now available and this spring we’re adding an interesting postscript – a thirteenth novel which is not technically part of the series but which just as well might be for it has all the same ingredients – a young protagonist with a Welsh background, a believable cast of characters, and a fast-paced plot brought alive by Welch’s customarily vivid historical detail.
Spring Subscription Bundle


Give a booklover (or yourself) the gift of a year of good reading and a set of recent issues.

Includes: Issues 49 – 56 (Spring 2016 – Winter 2017) and two smart grey slipcases

Our gorgeous bag, with stout, non-slippery straps that fit snugly over the shoulder, is elegant and unusually capacious. Made from attractive natural cream canvas with duck-egg blue trim, it’s exceptionally strong but light and folds easily. It has an inner pocket, a magnetic fastener to keep your purchases safe, and – most important of all – a generous gusset. Both sides are printed with a specially commissioned print-themed design by one of our favourite cover artists, James B. W. Lewis, so it can be worn either way.
Made from hard-wearing dark grey jute with Slightly Foxed and our little book-reading fox picked out in cream, each one is big enough to hold at least 5 or 6 books, measures 30 x 30 x 20 cms and has handles long enough to fit over the shoulder, but not too long to carry in the hand.
Orange Notebook
The Notebook

Last 14 orange notebooks! More stock with new colours coming in June. 

From £10
Slightly Foxed Issue 53

Slightly Foxed

and John Sandoe Books

invite you to celebrate the launch of the Spring issue of Slightly Foxed and Slightly Foxed Edition no. 37, Hilary Mantel’s haunting memoir Giving up the Ghost.

We will also be raising a glass to Sandoe’s Winter Bestseller, Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls’ Boarding-Schools, 1939–1979 by Ysenda Maxtone Graham

Tuesday 7 March 2017
6.30 - 8.30 p.m. 

John Sandoe Books
10 Blacklands Terrace
London SW3 2SR

RSVP Olivia Wilson

The Digital Fox

If you are a print subscriber to Slightly Foxed you can access the digital edition and full archive of back issues for free

If you don’t know your membership number, please get in touch with Hattie:

+44 (0) 20 703 0258

From Abbey, Edward to Zweig, Stefan

The Slightly Foxed index is an invaluable tool for navigating your collection of back issues or deciding which issues to catch up with and our new interactive online index is now live. We hope you’ll enjoy using it.

Jennie’s project for 2017 is to add all the articles from back issues and link them up to the index so you can read the full archive on our website as well as via Exact Editions and the Slightly Foxed app, and send single articles to fellow booklovers too. Watch this space. 

Get in touch

If you need help or have any questions about your order or membership, you can always phone the office on 020 7033 0258 and speak to one of us for more information, email Hattie on or write to us by post at 53 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB.

With very best wishes from the SF office staff
Jennie, Anna, Olivia, Hattie and Katy


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Slightly Foxed · 53 Hoxton Square · London, London N1 6PB · United Kingdom